K Palaniswami To Meet PM Modi Today Over Damage Caused By Cyclone Gaja

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Chennai:

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami will brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday about the devastation caused by the cyclonic storm 'Gaja' and seek a comprehensive central assistance package to tide over the situation.

The Tamil Nadu government, meanwhile, released Rs 1,000 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund to the cyclone affected districts to carry out relief and rehabilitation measures which includes solatium to the kin of dead, damage for crops, trees and houses.

K Palaniswami left for Delhi on Wednesday evening and is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister on Thursday at 9.45 am tentatively at his residence, sources said.

A day after touring the affected Pudukottai and Thanjavur districts, Palaniswami will brief Modi about the extensive damage caused by the cyclone and the huge monetary losses suffered by various sections of people, mainly the farmers.

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Coconut trees and banana plantations spread across several lakhs of acres in districts including Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam were uprooted pushing farmers into a crisis.

Palaniswami after touring the affected districts had said the government will certainly take steps to get central funds and submit details of the damage with proof.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit meanwhile visited affected areas including Vedaranyam and Pushpavanam in Nagapattinam district and distributed assistance to people.

He also inspected food preparations at the relief centres and interacted with doctors at a medical camp.

Speaking to reporters, the Governor said, "As far as food is concerned it is being supplied everywhere, rice is available and administration is doing whatever is possible. I appreciate their zeal, dedication and work."

On the questions posed to him by the affected people, he said, "they wanted tarpaulins and some money."

Purohit said he had told the people to be patient for a few days and that the administration would fulfil their requirements.

Meanwhile, DMK treasurer Duraimurugan handed over a cheque of Rs one crore towards cyclone relief to the chief minister.

Senior AIADMK leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai hit out at DMK for playing politics over cyclone relief.

Initially, the main opposition party had lauded the preparatory works by the government and later on resorted to politicising the matter, he said.

"Money lies with the Centre, the key to the chest is with the central government," he said.

State Ministers continued to stay put in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai districts to monitor relief operations like dispatch of essential commodities to the affected people and fixing new electricity poles in lieu of uprooted ones.

Electricity Minister P Thangamani told reporters at Nagapattinam that electricity supply would be fully restored to Nagapattinam town soon.

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